HRS annual review: bookings & prices in 2009
Berlin tops bookings ahead of Hamburg and Munich +++ Three Swiss cities in top 10 of the most expensive destinations +++ Prices slump in Moscow
Cologne, 4 January 2010 – Vienna is the most popular European city outside Germany, ahead of Paris and London. Hotel accommodation is the most expensive in New York. Prices in Moscow have slumped the furthest. HRS, Europe's leading online hotel booking portal, has analysed the bookings made in 2009. In so doing, it has unearthed some startling developments: for instance, accommodation prices in towns and small cities in Germany bucked the global trend and went up, while London is not one of the ten most expensive cities, as is generally thought.
The most popular German destinations in 2009
The German cities attracting the most bookings through HRS were Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. The largest increase in the number of bookings in 2009 was recorded in Dresden. The eastern German city on the River Elbe saw a year-on-year rise of more than 14 percent in its bookings. The average price of hotel accommodation across all the top 10 cities was lower than that in 2008. Hotel prices fell furthest in Düsseldorf, where guests were able to profit from savings of more than 13 percent over the year before. Overall, the average room rates in the most frequently booked German cities were not very far apart: the difference between the cheapest city (Nuremberg, at just under 84 euros) and the most expensive destination (Munich, at 98 euros) was a mere 14 euros a night.
The most popular European destinations outside Germany in 2009
Beyond Germany's borders, cities also dominated the top 10 of the most frequently booked destinations in Europe. Although Vienna finished ahead of Paris and London respectively, the hoteliers in the Austrian capital felt obliged to lower their prices signifi-cantly, cutting them by almost 13 percent. Hotels in eighth-placed Barcelona even slashed the price of their accommodation by more than 15 percent over the year be-fore. The Dutch city of Amsterdam saw the biggest increase in bookings, which rose by more than 30 percent, even though average room prices, at 115 euros a night, were the second-highest in Europe. Across Europe, the price of overnight accommodation varied by far more than between Germany's top 10 destinations: at almost 124 euros, Zurich is more than twice as expensive as Europe's cheapest city, Prague, where av-erage room rates are just under 59 euros a night.
The most expensive destinations worldwide
Despite cutting prices by almost 18 percent, New York was the city with the world's most expensive hotels in 2009, with an average room price of 157.24 euros. Although prices plummeted by just under 33 percent in Moscow, the Russian capital remained in second place in the league table of the world's most expensive destinations. Switzerland was the world's most expensive country overall in 2009, with no fewer than four cities - Geneva, Zurich, Basel and Berne - in the top 10 globally. In Berne, room prices even increased by 2 percent compared to the previous year. London narrowly slipped out of the top 10 and into 11th place because prices there were an average of 48 euro cents cheaper than those in Paris.
The cheapest destinations worldwide
People who booked their overnight accommodation in Bangkok in 2009 were able to save an average of almost 27 percent over the previous year. The Thai capital was therefore able to defend its position at the top of the league table of the world's cheapest destina-tions. Although hotel rates in Chemnitz were only fractionally more expensive than those in Bangkok last year, price rises in the German city in 2009 meant it ranked as only the fifth cheapest city worldwide.
The biggest price cuts in hotel accommodation
With a slump of almost 33 percent in accommodation rates, Moscow was the year's biggest loser. Average room prices in the Russian capital fell from almost 210 euros in 2008 to just 141 euros last year. Warsaw and Bangkok occupied the next two spots in the league table. Each saw their accommodation rates dropping by about 27 percent, albeit at a far lower level overall. Wuppertal was the only German city among the top 10 desti-nations in terms of the decrease in hotel prices. The cost of rooms there fell by more than 15 percent.
The biggest increases in hotel accommodation
The league table of the ten destinations with the largest increase in prices in 2009 is dominated by German towns and small cities, specifically Friedrichshafen, Darmstadt, Kassel, Koblenz, Würzburg, Lübeck, Oldenburg and Usedom. In contrast to the global trend, hoteliers outside the major cities didn't just keep their prices unchanged, but rather increased them slightly by single-digit percentages. Only hoteliers in Berne in Switzer-land, which has a reputation as one of the world's most expensive cities, and Majorca, Germany's favourite island, were able to force through price increases.
Further information can be found at www.hrs.com
HRS – The hotel portal
HRS operates a worldwide hotel portal for private and business travellers based on a database of more than 250,000 hotels in all categories in 180 different countries. Its free reservation service enables hotel accommodation to be booked online at the cheapest rates - and with a best-price guarantee. HRS Exclusive Prices also guarantee to be at least 10 percent cheaper than elsewhere. The job of choosing a hotel is facilitated by detailed descriptions of the hotels and more than 1.5 million hotel evaluations submitted by hotel guests. More than 20,000 companies regularly book their accommodation for business trips, conferences and group travel through HRS and benefit from special HRS corporate rates offering price reductions of up to 30 percent. HRS is the most powerful sales channel for the hotel industry, with some 90 million visitors to its site every year.
By developing new mobile applications for mobile phones, the BlackBerry and the iPhone as well as navigation devices, HRS has taken advantage of all the modern communication channels to make it even easier for customers to search for a suitable hotel. Founded in 1972, HRS currently has branches in Shanghai, London, Paris, Warsaw, Rome and Istanbul. It is also the sole owner of the Innsbruck-based Alpine portal www.tiscover.com .